The Indian badminton team has withdrawn its name from the Malaysian Open after its government imposed a ban on Indian travellers owing to the surge of Covid-19 cases in India. With this latest development, the chances for Indian shuttlers to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics has become slimmer.
Sai Praneeth and PV Sindhu are the two shuttlers almost confirmed of a berth at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, by virtue of their rankings. But for the other elite players like Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty, Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy, they're expecting to secure a Tokyo-berth in the remaining upcoming tournaments.
However, their Olympic aspirations were dealt a huge blow as the Indian badminton team had to withdraw from the Malaysian Open, booked for a May 25 to 30 slot, after its government imposed a ban on Indian travellers owing to the surge of Covid-19 cases in the Indian subcontinent.
“The Sports Ministry, through the Ministry of External Affairs, approached the Malaysian authorities requesting to permit the Indian team to participate, but owing to the rise in Covid 19 cases in India, the Malaysian government has informed the Indian High Commission in Malaysia that the travel of the team cannot be presently permitted,” stated a release from BAI (Badminton Association of India).